Warbach Lighting and Design
Words by Jessica Hagemann Photos by Eric Morales
Victor Hugo said that “To love beauty is to see light,” and innovative lighting designers Nathan Warner and Buck Hubach couldn’t agree more. The friends and business partners met five years ago when they both worked at an Austin woodworking shop. Nathan had just moved from Round Top, Texas—home of the Round Top Antiques Fair—where he’d learned to create, wire, and sell unique lighting fixtures from reclaimed materials. At the time, Buck was in charge of the woodshop’s mill and looking for an opportunity to continue to flex his creative muscles.
It felt like fate when Nathan ran into Austin design icon Joel Mozersky at a holiday party. After the two men hit it off, Mozerky commissioned what would become Warbach’s first official piece: a 180-foot-long snake light with no less than 210 light bulbs. Six months later, Nathan and Buck combined their last names to co-found Warbach Lighting & Design. Complementing one another and blending together their strengths of engineering and artistry, Nathan designs each piece and handles “the business side of things,” while Buck specializes in fabrication and installation. Both talents become an integral part of the collaboration to come up with one-of-a-kind pieces for a wide variety of clients.
“We’ve now worked with so many of the premier architects, designers, and business owners in town,” reflects Nathan. “I never would have guessed the type and level of projects that Warbach would rise to in that time.” This year, Warbach completed lighting installations for Fareground at One Eleven (arguably the most distinctive building in Austin’s skyline), as well as coast-to-coast Shake Shack locations, taking Warbach’s name national. Whether they’re outfitting a condo lobby or a residential kitchen, says Buck: “It’s challenging in all the best ways to create a sculpture that ‘fits’ the space and feel for which it’s designed.”
Truly, adds Nathan, lighting design “is about creating something no one has seen before. Lighting sets the mood for a space … [it can] be bold or calming,” but it is always beautiful.
5007 E Cesar Chavez Street, warbach.com
Up Next! Warbach will collaborate with the UT School of Architecture on an immersive Eileen Gray exhibit.